Derbyshire v Wiltshire

What can I say about Derbyshire and their results in the BDO Inter County Championships? They go fifteen games without a single win and begin their season in division three, after being relegated last season from division two with four consecutive defeats and were firmly rooted at the foot of the table with relegation to division four a major reality but then, WELL they returned to the form they showed in the 2014 – 2015 season which saw them promoted to division one as they chalked up three wins and a superb draw with promoted Berkshire leaving just one more game to play, that final game of what has been a somewhat challenging season was a rearranged home fixture with Wiltshire.

Despite their revival Derbyshire were still well and truly in the relegation zone with 151 points, just one more than bottom of the table Leicestershire, but their destiny was in their own hands as their opponents were just two points ahead of them with 153 points so a win for Derbyshire would see them preserve their division three status.

The weekend did not begin well but definitely got better as the fixture progressed. Wiltshire opened the ladies ‘B’ game going 2-0 up with wins from Linzi Holton and April Polden who in turn defeated Emily Jones and Jennifer McCormick 3-2 after both of the home players had won the first leg. Sara-Jane Harrison stopped the rot when she beat Sue Lane 3-2 after Lane had won the first two legs. Levelling the score at two each was lady of the match Carol Western who after leading 2-0 was pegged back to 2-2 by Erica Hartnett before sealing her win in the final leg, her average 17.13.

Derbyshire took the lead for the first time in the fourth when Emma Varnam won 3-2 against Debbie Hughes and with a further straight 3-0 win from Dee Fenn over Jill Little the 4-2 result went in favour of the hosts.

The men’s ‘B’ in their wildest dreams could not have imagined what the result of their game was going to be as they not only recorded their best win of the season but the best possible win any team could have as they handed out a massive 12-0 whitewash.

Setting the men’s ‘B’ on their way was opener and man of the match Robert Hawker who came from 1-0 and 2-1 down to beat Carl Savory 3-2 with winning legs of 19,13 and 18 darts for a superb 30.01 average. Doubling the lead was Connor Hodgkinson with his 3-1 success over Steve Lane and taking the score along to 3-0 was Timothy Rippon with a straight 3-0 win against Kevin Barefoot.

Although James Clifton (Wiltshire) pulled Benjamin Holmes back to level terms after trailing 2-0 it was Holmes who won the last leg for his 3-2 victory and by the halfway stage it was 6-0 to the home team as Andrew Gillott added his 3-1 win over Martin Williams and Paul Williams beat Mo Morris 3-2.

It was more of the same in the second half as Steven Soar kicked it off with a 3-1 win over Jonathan Gillingham-Smithers to make it an unassailable 7-0 lead, a winning margin from the least amount of games. Following Soar was Adrian Asprey with his 3-2 win against Lee O’Neill and then Gary Fenn with a fine 3-0 win over Andrew Southam.

Taking the home side’s lead into double figures was Steve Thompson when he accounted for Garth Hodgkiss with a 3-2 result after Hodgkiss had gone 2-0 up.

With only two to play the pressure was now mounting on the home players as they now didn’t want to break the winning sequence or actually be the sole loser, that was not going to be a problem as Henry Coates beat Mark Motti 3-1 and anchor man Ian Allcock won 3-0 against Roy Pryor, An outstanding team performance and a tremendous and much needed 12-0 win.

The ladies ‘A’ like the overall county squad had come to life in the second half of the season as after the first five games of the season they were without a win but were now going into the Wiltshire fixture on the back of three consecutive wins, however it was the visiting team who got the first stripe on the board as Stacey Day stepped in when Samantha Marshall struggled on finishing doubles to win 3-0.

Jackie Sweet cancelled out Day’s win when she beat Shirley Castle 3-1 and with a further 3-1 win plus a lady of the match performance, Terri Bellamy defeated Joey Hooke, Terri winning the third leg in just thirteen darts hitting 140,128,85,142 and checking out on double three first dart to give her a 20-71 average.

Assuring Derbyshire of at least a share of the points was Rebecca Hoyland when she accounted for Tina Rowlands with a 3-2 win, Rowlands having gone 1-0 and 2-1 up, Tina checking out on 121 in the second leg.

Louise Rawson looked all set to chalk up the fourth and match winning game when she opened up a 2-0 lead over Julie Newman but Newman fought back to win the tie 3-2 and put the onus on the last two players Rachel Ayres (Derbyshire) and Linzi Holton.

The outcome of the final game was never really in doubt as Rachel Ayres won 3-0 with her opponent only reaching a finishing double in the final leg. The team result was 4-2 to Derbyshire ladies ‘A’ which meant that without the men’s ‘A’ result added the home team had won the tie as they had a lead of 20-4.

With just one win from their previous eight games the men’s ‘A’ have not enjoyed the best of seasons but they were given a winning start by Tim Daniels when he won 4-1 against Dave Wicks. The second game swayed one way then the other as Derbyshire’s Lee Stanley went one down to Dion Newman and then 2-1 up. Newman then won the next two legs and although Stanley took the game to a deciding leg it was the Wiltshire man who got the 4-3 verdict. Richard Hanson (Derbyshire) was also taken the full seven legs distance by Luke Yates but it was Hanson who got the 4-3 result to restore the home team’s lead. Peter Burgoyne lost the first two legs to James Clifton but fought back magnificently to win the tie 4-2 and increase is team’s lead to 3-1.

Game number five saw Paul Baker win his second ‘A’ team man of the match award for the season beating Anthony Moulden 4-1 with wining legs of 14, 21,16 and 20 darts giving him a 27.06 average. By the halfway stage Wiltshire had reduced the arrears to 4-2 as Scott Millin beat Keith Cooper 4-2 after Cooper had gone from one down to 2-1 up.

An opening 4-2 win for David Fritchley against Mo Morris took Derbyshire’s lead to 5-2 before their opponents had their best run of the match as they won two in a row, Paul Boulton beating Sean Lambert 4-2 and Gary Court winning 4-3 against Nigel Daniels, the run however came to a halt when Ryan Hassell added his straight 4-0 win over Bob Phillips to the home team’s account to put them within an ace of victory and that victory looked to be on the cards when penultimate encounter Benjamin Holmes went 2-0 up against Juan Hopkins but it was Hopkins who won the following four legs to run out a 4-2 winner and leave the result hinging on the final game of the weekend.

The anchor men for both teams were Ian Clarke Derbyshire and Ryan Furness Wiltshire, the result of the game was 4-0 to Clarke to give Derbyshire men’s ‘A’ team a 7-5 win.

The win for the men’s ‘A’ meant that all four Derbyshire teams had won over the weekend and the overall result of 27-9 was their best result since the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of November 2014 when they won 28-8 at home when once again their opponents were Wiltshire. The massive win saw Derbyshire move out of the bottom two where they had languished for the majority of the season, and up five places in the table to finish in a very respectable fourth position. It is to be hoped that the late season form can be carried into the new 2018 – 2019 campaign and Derbyshire will once again climb back up the divisions.

Full Results:Derbyshire v Wiltshire (27-9) )🙁Derbyshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Tim Daniels 4 Dave Wicks 1, Lee Stanley 3 Dion Newman 4, Richard Hanson 4 Luke Yates 3, Peter Burgoyne 4 James Clifton 2, Paul Baker 4 Anthony Moulden 1, Keith Cooper 2 Scott Millin 4, David Fritchley 4 Mo Morris 2, Sean Lambert 2 Paul Boulton 4, Nigel Daniels 3 Gary Court 4, Ryan Hassell 4 Bob Phillips 0, Benjamin Holmes 2 Juan Hopkins 4, Ian Clarke 4 Ryan Furness 0, Men’s ‘B’:- Robert Hawker 3 Carl Savory 2, Connor Hodgkinson 3 Steve Lane 1, Timothy Rippon 3 Kevin Barefoot 0, Benjamin Holmes 3 James Clifton 2, Andrew Gillott 3 Martin Williams 1, Paul Williams 3 Mo Morris 2, Steven Soar 3 Jonathan Gillingham-Smithers 1, Adrian Asprey 3 Lee O’Neill 2, Gary Fenn 3 Andrew Southam 0, Steve Thompson 3 Garth Hodgkiss 2, Henry Coates 3 Mark Motti 1, Ian Allcock 3 Roy Pryor 0, Women’s ‘A’:- Samantha Marshall 0 Stacey Day 3, Jackie Sweet 3 Shirley Castle 1, Terri Bellamy 3 Joey Hooke 1, Rebecca Hoyland 3 Tina Rowlands 2, Louise Rawson 2 Julie Newman 3, Rachel Ayres 3 Linzi Holton 0, Women’s ‘B’:- Emily Jones 2 Linzi Holton 3, Jennifer McCormick 2 April Polden 3, Sara-Jane Harrison 3 Sue Lane 2, Carol Western 3 Erica Hartnett 2, Emma Varnam 3 Debbie Hughes 2, Dee Fenn 3 Jill Little 0.